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Deep Ecology and Yoga Retreat

Dive deep into The Work That Reconnects to explore your ecological identity. Engage the practice of yoga to integrate the work into your body. Become more interconnected, creative, and tuned into your passionate purpose. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience necessary.

Meet the instructors

Courtney & Garrell
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Highlights

  • Morning and afternoon Hatha yoga classes
  • Reconnect with your ecological identity and purpose
  • Explore "The Work That Reconnects" to explore your ecological identity
  • Daily delicious and omnivorous meals consciously sourced and prepared
  • Set in a 26-year-old ecovillage in the ancient Appalachia mountains
  • 3 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: 9-25 participants
Airport transfer available:
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (US$300 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Asheville Regional Airport (US$120 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (US$250 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:30
Check-out Time:
14:00

Facilities

  • Environmentally friendly

Several accommodation options are available at Earthaven Ecovillage and in the surrounding area.

Camping

  • Included in Tuition

Always a popular option, participants can camp in the forested Earthaven campground. Most campground sites are designed for two-person tents; some can accommodate larger tents. A few camper van / RV spots (no hookups) are also available (maximum length 28 feet).

The campground offers drinking water, a tarp-covered kitchen with propane burners for cooking and heating water, and dining tables. There is an outdoor shower, outhouse with a composting toilet, and hand washing station. A flush toilet is available nearby. The campground itself has minimal electricity for charging small devices such as phones and mp3 players. The Council Hall is also available for charging small devices, including computers.

Indoor lodging

  • Private Indoor Lodging
  • Cost for 1 person: 3 nights 90 USD
  • Cost for 2 people (shared bed): 3 nights 165 USD

Provided by Earthaven community members, options range from solitary huts and cabins to dorm rooms to private rooms in a community member’s home. Although the spaces may differ, all are simple, hand-built eco spaces that will have at least a bed and a composting toilet nearby.

Some spaces will be centrally located, while some will be within a 5 to 15-minute walk of the village center. An outdoor shower in the campground will be available if your accommodations do not have their own shower. Both private and shared are usually available.

Program

You find yourselves alive in an extraordinary time; a time of uncertainty and disconnection, but also a time of great possibility where cooperation, courageous action, and collective movement can cultivate the world you are longing to live in. In these times of ecological, political, and social catastrophe looming on the horizon, it is essential that you dig deep to find your creative will and power to help life jump up and live.

Join SOIL for a weekend of reconnecting with self, other, sacred purpose, and earth. Opening up your hearts and minds to the love, joy, and deep grief you feel for life on the planet allows you to find the strength and wisdom to act on behalf of the earth as catalysts for positive change.

In this retreat, you will draw on the work of Deep Ecology and The Work That Reconnects to ground into your ecological identities, and the practice of yoga to integrate the work into your bodies. You will spiral through the four stages of The Work: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New Eyes, and Going Forth.

You will leave with a re-nourished connection to your bodies, the planet, and your sacred purpose as leaders, changers, and activists. Earthaven Ecovillage in the woodlands of the ancient Appalachian mountains with streams, vital forests, and naturally built infrastructure will serve as the container, mentor, and classroom for this work to unfold within.

Deep Ecology and the "Work That Reconnects"

Deep Ecology is a holistic, experiential, and embodied approach to moving beyond the Western expression of individualism toward a more integrated way of belonging to the world. It is based on Systems Theory, eco-philosophy, and spiritual views from around the world that can help you graduate from the strictly scientific approach to ecology to embodying your powerful role as an integrated part of the natural world.

Joanna Macy, John Seed, and others have developed this body of work over the last four decades to help guide you towards a more holistic world view and heal broken relationships with your life-sustaining planet. As you lean into your deep connection with life, you connect to your own unique, true nature, to your larger human community, and the web of life; coming to understand yourselves as having a role to play in the collective well-being.

Yoga practice with Garrell

Garrell's yoga sessions are described as Hatha yoga. The sessions are designed for all levels of ability and focus on the harmony of body, breath, and mind. Through a series of asanas (poses), relaxed self-awareness, and movement with the breath, the yoga practice can help promote physical and spiritual well-being, relieving some of the stresses and distractions of everyday life, as well as prepare the participant for meditation practice.

Sample daily schedule

Day 1 - Thursday, September 16

  • 15:30 Arrive, set up camp, settle into the land
  • 18:45 Dinner
  • 19:45 Evening Activity

Day 2 to 3 - Friday, September 17 to Saturday, September 18

  • 07:00 - 08:00 Morning yoga
  • 08:15 - 09:15 Breakfast
  • 09:30 - 12:00 Morning session
  • 12:00 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:30 Afternoon session
  • 15:45 - 16:45 Afternoon yoga
  • 16:45 - 18:45 Independent integration time / free play
  • 18:45 - 19:45 Dinner
  • 20:00 - 21:30 Evening activities

Day 4 - Sunday, September 19

  • 07:00 - 08:00 Morning yoga
  • 08:15 - 09:15 Breakfast
  • 09:30 - 12:00 Morning session
  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

What to expect at SOIL

Learning Environment

Staying and learning at Earthaven is an adventure! Earthaven is off-the-grid, which means it is not tied into public electricity or water systems, they create it themselves. They derive electricity from hydro (water) power, solar (sun) power, or a gasoline-powered generator, and water from on-land springs and wells. Please be prepared to conserve energy and resources while you are staying with them. Some noticeable differences to prepare for include:

  • Limited and responsible electricity use
  • Consistent monitoring of resources
  • More sharing
  • No air conditioning or central heating
  • Fans and wood heat do keep our spaces cool/warm
  • No outdoor lighting at night

Most SOIL programs take place in the community’s beautiful, hand-built Council Hall, as well as under outdoor canopies and in the woods or on farms. In the spring, summer, and fall, meals are served in the outdoor covered dining area.

Phone and internet

It’s very easy to unplug once you arrive because most cell phones don’t get reception in the forest. Participants can drive or walk 1 mile up the road if they wish to use their cell phones. Landline phones are available for short phone calls or emergencies. Internet is available to participants in the Council Hall via ethernet connection (no Wi-Fi). The connection is slower than you might be used to and can be unreliable. SOIL encourages minimal internet usage. There is no community computer provided so you would need to bring your own.

Instructors

Courtney Brooke

Garrell Bevirt

Retreat location

This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living. Earthaven is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina, on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.

Many of SOIL's programs take place among the homes, kitchens, cottage industries, cozy neighborhood homesteads, sustainable homesites, small farms, forests, and daily lives of the local residents and neighbors at Earthaven Ecovillage and the Taylor Creek Watershed.

This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where students directly engage with regenerative food systems, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of community living.

Terrain and Wildlife

Earthaven is a rural environment with gravel roads and sloping forest hiking trails. This juvenile eastern hardwood forest is home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna. Among the rhododendron thickets and salamander habitats, there are also some ‘guardian species’ such as poison ivy, brambles, and some poisonous snakes to keep people alert and engaged. The recovering forest ecosystem is fragile and the impact can make a difference in its health. SOIL asks that you respect their biodiversity by not harvesting plants, or killing wildlife. If you are allergic to poison ivy and bee stings, please come prepared.

Climate

The summers are warm and humid, the winters are cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year-round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 26 degrees Fahrenheit to 81 degrees Fahrenheit and is rarely below 13 degrees Fahrenheit or above 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it doesn’t get very hot in the summer, it can feel very hot since the humidity is high. It rains pretty consistently year-round with afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and occasional snow in the winter.

More about Earthaven

Founded in 1994, Earthaven Ecovillage is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse western North Carolina, about 50 minutes southeast of Asheville and 30 minutes southeast of Black Mountain. Home to 80+ residents, the community is dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture. The springs and creeks that traverse the land help welcome and invite you into the flow of what is happening in this serene forested setting.

Earthaven’s mission is to create “a living laboratory and educational seed bank for a sustainable human future.” Earthaven members seek to become empowered, responsible, ecologically literate citizens, modeling a bioregional appropriate culture and valuing sustainable ecological systems, permaculture design, elegant simplicity, right livelihood, and healthy social relations.

Distances

  • Asheville, 30 miles - 1-hour drive
  • Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) - 1-hour drive
  • Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) - 1.5 hours
  • Charlotte Airport (CLT) - 2 hours

Food

Delicious, omnivorous meals are prepared by talented culinary artists from the Earthaven community. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. Snacks and beverages (tea, coffee) are provided. Participants are invited to help with meal clean-up. Many hands make light work. As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Meals are created with seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely-raised, and organic ingredients.

If you have dietary needs beyond the ones listed here, please be prepared to bring supplemental food to support your nourishment and well-being. The kitchen simply cannot accommodate all diets.

A total of nine meals are included: from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Lactose Free
  • Whole food
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Western North Carolina’s Appalachian culture

The Western North Carolina mountains are home to the city of Asheville, known for its culinary, dance, and music scene and its thriving artistic community. The North Carolina mountains offer breathtaking beauty, the nearby section of the Appalachian Trail is among the most scenic of the whole hike and holds unique ecological diversity in their subtropical, temperate, and boreal habitats. The area around Asheville also offers outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and rock climbing.

What's included

  • Deep Ecology workshops daily
  • Yoga classes daily
  • All instructions and materials
  • 3 nights camping accommodation
  • All meals, snacks, tea, and coffee

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving to Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Ecovillage is located at 5 Consensus Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Be advised that some mapping systems don’t have Earthaven Ecovillage listed by name or address. SOIL, at Earthaven Ecovillage, is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, NC on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.

Driving directions from Asheville (I-40 Eastbound)

  • Take I-40 E for 25 minutes
  • Take exit 73 Old Fort
  • Turn right on Bat Cave Rd aka Old Fort Rd - 16 minutes (9 miles)
  • Turn left on Camp Elliot Rd - 5 minutes (1.5 miles)
  • Slowly continue onto Another Way at Earthaven Ecovillage sign (road turns to gravel) - 2 minutes (0.5 mile)
  • Follow signs to Campground

Driving directions from Hickory (I-40 Westbound)

  • Take I-40 W for 1 hour
  • Take exit 73 (Old Fort)
  • Turn left on Bat Cave Rd aka Old Fort Rd - 16 minutes (9 miles)
  • Turn left on Camp Elliot Rd - 5 minutes (1.5 miles)
  • Slowly continue onto Another Way at Earthaven Ecovillage sign (road turns to gravel) - 2 minutes (0.5 mile)
  • Follow signs to Campground

Driving directions from South Carolina (I-26 Westbound)

  • Take exit 49A (Hendersonville)
  • Turn right on US-64 E - 20 minutes (12 miles)
  • Turn left on NC-9/74-A - 1 minute (0.3 miles)
  • Turn right on NC-9 - 10 minutes (7 miles)
  • Turn right on Old Fort Rd aka Bat Cave Rd - 6 minutes (3.2 miles)
  • Turn right on Camp Elliot Rd - 5 minutes (1.5 miles)
  • Slowly continue onto Another Way at Earthaven Ecovillage sign (road turns to gravel) - 2 minutes (0.5 miles)
  • Follow signs to Campground

Arrival by airplane

In order of proximity, please book your flight to arrive at:

  • Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), the transfer is available at an additional 120 USD (round trip).
  • Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP), the transfer is available at an additional 250 USD (Round Trip)
  • Charlotte Airport (CLT), the transfer is available at an additional 300 USD (Round Trip)

There is no public transportation to Earthaven. Plan to rent a car at the airport or arrange a pick-up with SOIL well in advance. It is possible that SOIL could connect you with another participant traveling similarly, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Airport: Charlotte Douglas International Airport Airport transfer available: Charlotte Douglas International Airport (US$300 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Asheville Regional Airport Airport transfer available: Asheville Regional Airport (US$120 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport Airport transfer available: Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (US$250 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
4 days / 3 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 9 participants

Availability

Arrival: Thursday September 16, 2021
Departure: Sunday September 19, 2021

Pricing information
Sliding scale tuition

Because some people have more financial means than others, SOIL has created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The higher end of the scale reflects the value they believe the program holds, and the lower end offers a more accessible entry point.

By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.

Pricing information

The price for 3 nights camping is included in the tuition fee:

  • Full tuition: 425 USD
  • Sliding scale A: 395 USD
  • Sliding scale B: 365 USD

Indoor lodging options:

  • Shared accommodation (3 nights): +45 USD
  • Private single accommodation (3 nights): +90 USD
Special discounts

SOIL offers partial scholarships (50% of the bottom of the sliding scale) to black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) with financial needs who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. They understand that BIPOC experiences more financial and institutional barriers to participation and this is one way they are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC with financial needs and would like to receive a scholarship, please send an inquiry.

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